Membership FAQ

Listeners often ask about WCBE's relationship with several different entities, including National Public Radio, the Columbus City Schools and WOSU.
Below, we've tried to answer some of those questions. If you have a different question (or comment), please contact us.

  1. When I called WCBE during the on-air fund drive, I did not request a thank-you gift. I assumed WCBE would use all of my dollars to keep the broadcasting on the air. You won't automatically send me a gift, will you?
    No. If you did not confirm receipt of a gift, then be assured WCBE will put your entire contribution toward programming. Thanks for your membership support!
  2. Is my WCBE contribution tax-deductible? 
    All gifts to WCBE are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you receive a thank-you gift for your contribution, WCBE will tell you the value of that thank-you gift and whether its value is substantial enough that it must be deducted from your contribution. For further information, please call our Membership Dept at (614) 365.5555.
  3. My WCBE renewal is not due for 8 weeks, yet I received a renewal notice today. Why so early?
    The early renewal notice offers some flexibility for contributors. Many people prefer to pay their membership as part of their monthly bills, so the early notice can easily be incorporated into their household's budget planning. When you submit payment, your membership benefits will be extended one year from the end of your current anniversary date.
  4. When can I expect to receive my 'CBE thank you gift I was promised when I contributed during WCBE's on-air fund drive last month?
    Thank-you gifts generally arrive approx. 10-12 weeks after your payment has been processed. If it has been more then 12 weeks, please call our Membership Dept at (614) 365.5555.
  5. What is the relationship between WCBE and NPR?
    WCBE and National Public Radio (NPR) are separate nonprofit entities. NPR does not own or operate WCBE  and has no role in the governance of the station. WCBE  is one of more than 760 NPR member stations and pays an annual membership fee. In addition, WCBE  pays NPR for broadcast rights to programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Car Talk, as well as a fee for use of the Public Radio Satellite System maintained by NPR to distribute programs to stations. To learn more about NPR, click here.

    WCBE  also pays for programming from Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media Group (APMG), two separate nonprofit entities that distribute programs like A Prairie Home Companion, Afropop Worldwide and the BBC. WCBE  pays more than $700,000 annually for programming from NPR, PRI, APM and other independent programming distributors.

    NPR is a membership organization, as opposed to a network like ABC that owns TV and radio stations. NPR does not own any stations. The majority of its governing board is comprised of general managers of public radio stations around the country. As a membership organization that is owned by the individual stations, NPR's programming is created for the benefit of these stations, and stations exercise a lot of influence over policies that NPR establishes and adopts.

    Half of NPR's annual budget comes from the fees paid by member stations; the other half comes from foundations and business underwriters. (WCBE  is contractually obligated to carry the NPR underwriting announcements "Support for National Public Radio comes from...." if we carry the NPR programming.) NPR is expressly prohibited, through its by-laws, from soliciting individual donors through on-air fund drives and direct mail. Each station's membership fee is based largely on the audience size and fundraising success of the station, so the more funds WCBE raises, the better NPR does.

  6. What is the relationship between WCBE 90.5FM and WOSU 89.7FM?
    Each public radio station in Columbus is an independent nonprofit entity. WOSU is licensed to The Ohio State University, while WCBE is licensed to the Columbus Board of Education. Each station must manage its own business affairs and raise the funds it needs for operation.
  7. What is WCBE's relationship to the Columbus City Schools?
    Central Ohio's NPR station - WCBE 90.5FM  is licensed to the Columbus Board of Education. WCBE receives no financial support from the Columbus City Schools. All staff, facilities and equipment are paid for by WCBE.